March 07, 2013

Canada is committed to ending violence against women and girls at home and abroad. As we are celebrating International Women’s Week, we are also highlighting our national theme for 2013, Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence against Women.

Canada believes violence against women is an issue for all Canadians to address – women and men, girls and boys alike.  We must all be part of the solution. This groundbreaking approach has led the Harper Government to launch a call for proposals to organizations to carry out innovative projects aimed at engaging men and boys in ending violence against women and girls.

The Harper Government has increased funding to the women’s program to its highest level in Canadian history, funding over 550 projects across Canada since 2007. Our government is taking action to protect the most vulnerable women in Canadian society – women in immigrant communities, women living in poverty, and aboriginal women and girls through National Actions Plans, new laws and essential women’s projects.  Recognizing that the majority of victims of human trafficking are women and girls, the Canadian government recently launched a comprehensive National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking to ensure the safety and security of women and girls across Canada who are being targeted for sexual exploitation by violent traffickers.  Aboriginal women and girls are the Canadians most at risk of violence. To address this urgent issue the Government of Canada has developed a five year national strategy aimed at enhancing the response of law enforcement and the justice system to cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls and supporting culturally appropriate victim’s services. Equally as important is our government’s legislation to give aboriginal women equal rights and access to their matrimonial property.

Violence against women and girls takes on a heavy economic and social toll on society.
On International Women’s Day 2013, as we celebrate women’s contributions, let us also pledge to work together – men and women, to end violence against women.

Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer